Ismail Marahimin was born April 23, 1934, in Medan, North Sumatra. After graduation from the national teachers’ college (IKIP) in Medan with a degree in English Language in 1964, he taught for a number of years before continuing his education in 1969 at the University of Hawaii in Manoa (USA) from which university he obtained a masters degree in 1971.
Ismail spent most of his career working as a lecturer in English language and literature at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta but he was a frequent contributor to Kompas daily newspaper and Tempo magazine as well. He also worked as editor for the magazines Indonesia, Your Destination and Eksekutif.
Ismail’s first and only novel, And the War is Over (Dan Perang Pun Usai) was named best novel of the year by the Jakarta Arts Council in 1977. In 1984, the novel was named recipient of the Pegasus Prize, a literary award sponsored by Mobil Oil Indonesia.